Guardians agree with LHP Matthew Boyd on major league deal pending physical, AP source says

CLEVELAND (AP) — In an effort to add starting pitching depth, the Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a major league contract — pending a physical — with free agent left-hander Matthew Boyd, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process could take several days to complete, said the 33-year-old Boyd’s deal was contingent on passing medical testing. He had reconstructive elbow surgery last year.

Boyd is very familiar to Cleveland after spending eight seasons with AL Central-rival Detroit.

The Guardians, who opened a four-game set in Kansas City on Thursday, entered the night with an eight-game division lead despite some question marks with their starting staff. They’ve gotten unexpected production from Ben Lively, who was signed in December, and some of the club’s young pitchers such as Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen have performed well.

Triston McKenzie and Carlos Carrasco have struggled at times, and the Guardians are still waiting for Gavin Williams to make his season debut after the hard-throwing right-hander hurt his elbow in training camp.

Boyd, if healthy, would give Cleveland first-year manager Stephen Vogt some protection. He went 5-5 with a 5.45 ERA over 15 starts last season before he was shut down to have surgery two days after his last start. He pitched a career-high 185 1/3 innings for Detroit in 2019, but that was followed by elbow surgery in 2021 and just 13 relief innings for Seattle the next season.

Boyd is 44-67 with a 4.94 ERA in 160 starts since breaking in with Toronto in 2020.

In other roster news Thursday, the Guardians placed outfielder Will Brennan on the injured list retroactive to Tuesday with rib inflammation and recalled infielder José Tena and right-hander Darren McCaughan from Triple-A Columbus.

They had optioned right-hander Xzavion Curry to the same club after Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss in Baltimore.

Brennan, who is hitting .256 with eight homers and 24 RBIs, last played on Monday against the Orioles. Vogt said he wanted to play through the sore ribs but that the decision was made for a “three-to-five day shutdown.”

“Then hopefully back to baseball activity. It’s the right thing to do to make sure we knock this thing out,” Vogt said.

Tena made his big league debut for the Guardians last August, hitting .226 over 18 games covering two stints with the big league club. He began this season at Columbus, where he was hitting .293 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 73 games.

“He’s going to be a bat off the bench and some speed,” Vogt said. “We’ve got a lot of versatility. We can do a lot of things.”

McCaughan tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Cleveland earlier this year, then was optioned to Columbus the next day. He was brought back to provide some bullpen depth with just one day off scheduled before the All-Star break.

“We didn’t do ourselves any favors right out of the gate with this 13-day stretch. We had to drip into the bullpen,” Vogt said. “It’s always tough telling somebody they’re going back to Triple-A, especially when they go out and they do their job well. But we need the length and protection and you know, D-Mac is back with us to give us that.”


AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed from Kansas City, Missouri.



Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up